These young women are just a handful of the two million students worldwide who have made the promise. 16 year old Hana explained, "I pledge to use my words to speak in a kind way."
They know the pledge. 12 year old Lenay said, "I pledge to help others as I go throughout my day." 10 year old Jessica added, "I pledge to do my part and create peace for one and all." And hope to change the world, through kindness.
Jill McManigal, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Kids for Peace, told us, "I hope they can create the world they want to grow up in." That's why McManigal, a former school teacher and mother of two, started the non-profit kids for peace. She said, "I know about the wisdom of children and so I just wanted to give kids a platform to be the peace builders that I believe they all are."
From a couple kids in her back yard coming up with simple ways to make a difference in their community, to being invited to speak at the United Nations, these kids are on a mission. Lenay tols us what she loves to do. "I get to go around and put smiles on people's faces and make them feel good about themselves."
Now they want to challenge you to do the same thing. For one week, they are asking students to do as many things on this list as they can. Hana's idea, "Smile at 25 people because it's such a small thing but can make such a big difference."
Lenay has another one, "I'm going to put hearts on cars. I am going to go feed the homeless." And 14 year old Mira said, "I always like baking cookies and delivering them to fire fighters."
In three years, the Great Kindness Challenge has grown from three schools to 1,099 and last year those kids all together preformed 27,742,300 acts of kindness. That number is expected to grow to more than one hundred million acts of kindness this year!
McManigal said, "The kids are performing kind act after kind act after kind act and that makes kindness a habit and as kindness becomes a habit that makes peace possible."
Kids for Peace started in 2006. Currently they are in 36 countries, including Iraq, Pakistan, India and Australia. Among other things, they donate and gather supplies for Ebola health care workers in Liberia, and gather supplies for schools in Kenya. Their goal is to be in all 140,000 US schools and every country by 2020. The Great Kindness Challenge is totally free and schools can get everything they need to take part in it by checking out the website.
The Great Kindness Challenge runs from January 26th to January 30th. Your school can sign up for free and get all the information at www.greatkindnesschallenge.org.
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